Day 4 – May 6 – Samar

This was the first real climb, going up a beautiful trail on the side of a lateral mountain. At times the trail was carved right into the sandstone. A compact village faced us across the valley.

Although we thought we were pretty well acclimatized after two months at 2000 meters elevation in Kunming, the elevation gain up above 3100 meters proved too much for Marcia. She was feeling a little nauseous even at breakfast and it got worse as she climbed, with diarrhea in addition. We weren't sure whether it was altitude or an intestinal bug, so we treated for both.

Our original plan was to climb to a teahouse at 3900 meters, but given Marcia's condition, we decided to stop at our lunch place Samar, a three-yak village at 3600 meters. Marcia slept all afternoon and felt a lot better in the evening as long as she didn't exert herself.

While Marcia slept, I read a book and walked around the village. A two-year-old boy on his grandmother's back looked at me cautiously as we passed. Village children often don't know what to make of a tall man with fair skin and a beard. But this time, once he had reached a safe distance, the boy waved and blew me a kiss.

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